Workshops

Timely, informative workshops are a central feature of the MMA Annual Meeting. For 2022, the workshops were held as a series of free Zoom sessions, from Jan. 24 through Feb. 17. See links to the recordings below.


Fiscal Outlook
Jan. 24, 12-1:15 p.m. – View the webinar
Presented by the Division of Local Services
This workshop will cover important current issues in municipal finance and will look at fiscal 2022 and beyond.
PANELISTS
Michael J. Heffernan is the secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance.
Geoffrey E. Snyder is the commissioner of the Department of Revenue.
Deb Wagner is the Bureau of Accounts director.
Chris Wilcock is the Bureau of Local Assessment chief.
Ken Woodland is the Municipal Finance Law Bureau chief.
MODERATOR
Sean Cronin is the senior deputy commissioner of local services for the Division of Local Services.
Division of Local Services presentation (2M PDF)

Municipal Strategies for Online and In-Person Engagement
Jan. 26, 9:30-10:30 a.m. – View the webinar
Over the past two years, municipalities have had to shift public meetings to a virtual environment and pivot quickly to get vital information out to their communities. Learn about programs and platforms being used to disseminate important information, new strategies developed to provide opportunities for online engagement and participation, and steps to bring communities back together for safe in-person connection.
PANELISTS
Brianna Sunryd is the communications manager and community participation officer in Amherst.
Lauren Goldberg is an attorney and president at KP | Law.
Eunice Zeigler is a city councillor in Methuen.
MODERATOR
Cyndi Roy Gonzalez is the public information officer in Needham.
Community Engagement During Pandemic Recovery – Eunice Zeigler/City of Methuen presentation (222K PDF)
Digital Engagement and Beyond – Brianna Sunryd/Town of Amherst presentation (20M PDF)

The Future of Work: 8 Key Insights and Collaborative Solutions
Jan. 27, 12:30-1:30 p.m. – View the webinar
Presented by the Massachusetts Mayors’ Association
The Baker-Polito administration’s commissioned report on the “Future of Work” examined ways that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed work habits in Massachusetts. Panelists will share eight key insights into what needs to be addressed to create vibrant, equitable and competitive cities and towns for the future. They will also discuss collaborative solutions happening across the Commonwealth, and engage municipalities on being active partners in these efforts.
PANELISTS
Rosalin Acosta is the secretary of the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
Scott Bosworth is the undersecretary of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
Mike Kennealy is the secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.
MODERATOR
Rachel Lipson is director of the Project on Workforce at Harvard University.
The Future of Work: 8 Key Insights and Collaborative Solutions presentation (3.5M PDF)

Municipal Law Update
Jan. 31, 12-1 p.m. – View the webinar
Presented by the Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association
Municipal attorneys will bring attendees up to speed on important developments in municipal law as they relate to Massachusetts cities and towns, in areas such as land use and zoning, municipal finance and taxation, public governance, and other areas with significant developments.
PANELISTS
Donna M. Brewer is a partner at Miyares and Harrington LLP.
Maura O’Keefe is an assistant city solicitor for the city of Newton.
MODERATOR
Brandon H. Moss is a senior legal editor at Thomson Reuters and 2021-22 president of the Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association.
Municipal Law Update – Miyares and Harrington presentation (180K PDF)
Municipal Law Update – City of Newton presentation (170K PDF)
Municipal Law Update – Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association document (300K PDF)

Overview of Draft Zoning Rules for MBTA Communities
Feb. 2, 9:30-10:30 a.m. – View the webinar
Presented by the Department of Housing and Community Development
Learn about draft guidance related to new requirements in Section 3A of Chapter 40A for “MBTA Communities” from the Department of Housing and Community Development. This new section in the Zoning Act is part of reforms also known as the “Housing Choices Bill” that was included in the Economic Development Bond Bill. This session will cover draft MBTA Communities Guidance, including requirements for compliance and technical assistance that will be available to help communities establish multi-family zoning districts. It will also cover how the 175 MBTA Communities can submit comments on the draft guidance.
PANELISTS
Michael Kennealy is the secretary of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.
Chris Kluchman is the deputy director of the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Services Division.
Clark Ziegler is executive director of the Massachusetts Housing Partnership.
MODERATOR
Rory O’Hanlon is legislative director and director of policy of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

Creative Placemaking in Your Community
Feb. 3, 12-1 p.m. – View the webinar
Presented by the Massachusetts Municipal Councillors’ Association
The pandemic kept everyone close to home, and that sparked a lot of thought about what our surroundings look like. Placemaking took on a new meaning as parklets popped up for outdoor dining, pedestrian-only areas gained popularity, and communities learned how to make the most of their space. Learn how the city of Brockton and others have embraced placemaking, and discover some funding sources and tools that can help you engage with citizens on this important topic.
PANELISTS
Jonathan Berk is a vice president for Patronicity.
Alejandro Lopez is an assistant program manager for MassDevelopment.
Moises Rodrigues is a city councillor in Brockton.
MODERATOR
Lisa Blackmer is a city councillor in North Adams and president of the Massachusetts Municipal Councillors’ Association.
Placemaking – Funding Sources and Strategies – MassDevelopment presentation (3M PDF)
Building Back Better Together: A Placemaking Roadmap – Patronicity presentation (14M PDF)

Recruitment and Retention Strategies for Public Works and Other Municipal Departments
Feb. 7, 12-1 p.m. – View the webinar
Presented by Massachusetts Highway Association
Public works leaders from across the state will share insights on recruitment, retention and succession planning for the next generation of municipal public works professionals. Many of their strategies will be helpful to other municipal departments as well.
PANELISTS
Chris Bouchard is the public works director in South Hadley and president of the Massachusetts Highway Association.
Robert “Brutus” Cantoreggi is the public works director in Franklin.
Denise Casey is the deputy town manager in North Andover.
Jeff Cathcart is the manager of the Massachusetts Pre-Apprenticeship and Vocational School Training Program, at the UMass Transportation Center.
MODERATOR
Ariela Lovett is a legislative analyst at the MMA.

Labor Law Update: New Laws, Recent Cases and Agency Decisions
Feb. 9, 9:30-10:30 a.m. – View the webinar
Important events and developing trends in labor and employment law significantly impact municipal policies. Two employment and labor law attorneys with decades of experience in the public sector will discuss developments in 2021, including major court cases, agency decisions and legislation covering vaccine policies/mandates, workplace safety, overtime laws, emergency paid sick leave and COVID-related relief, civil service, collective bargaining and other important labor and employment issues.
PANELISTS
Michael Maccaro is a partner at Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane.
Melissa Murray is a partner at Norris, Murray & Peloquin.
MODERATOR
Denise Casey is the deputy town manager in North Andover.
Lowlights and Highlights of Agency Employment Decisions Reported in 2021 – Melissa Murray presentation (450K PDF)
Annual Labor Law Update: Selected Case Law, MCAD Review and Legislation Update – Michael Maccaro presentation (500K PDF)

Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness: Tools and Tales
Feb. 10, 12-1 p.m. – View the webinar
Presented by the MMA Policy Committee on Energy and the Environment
Learn how communities are using their MVP action grants on transformative climate resilience projects, from dam removal and culvert replacement to heat mapping and infrastructure risk assessments. MVP staff will also share updates on the program and on the new tools available to municipalities to enhance their resilience work.
PANELISTS
James Fiorentini is the mayor of Haverhill.
Melanie Gárate is the climate resiliency manager for the Mystic River Watershed Association.
Mia Mansfield is the director of climate adaptation and resilience for the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
Kara Runsten is the program manager for the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
MODERATOR
Susan Bunnell is chair of the MMA Policy Committee on Energy and the Environment.

Building a Culture of Cybersecurity: Minimum Baseline for Municipalities
Feb. 14, 12-1 p.m. – View the webinar
Presented by the Massachusetts Interlocal Insurance Association
Ransomware is the much-discussed, high-profile cyber threat facing municipalities, but it is not the only cyber threat facing local governments. What do municipalities need to know about the threat, and how can they build a healthy culture of cybersecurity that protects systems and data by using people, process and technology? This panel will examine the threat and provide guidance and resources to address it.
PANELISTS
Sam Curry is chief security officer at Cybereason.
Brian Gavioli is a lieutenant at the Massachusetts State Police and is responsible for the coordination of cyber threat intelligence, information sharing and cyber incident response at the Commonwealth Fusion Center.
Susan Noyes is an information technology manager at the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security’s Office of Municipal and School Technology.
Meg Speranza is the resiliency program manager at MassCyberCenter.
MODERATOR
Stephanie Helm is director of the MassCyberCenter.
Building a Culture of Cybersecurity: Minimum Baseline for Municipalities presentation (2M PDF)

The State of Waste and Recycling
Feb. 16, 9:30-10:30 a.m. – View the webinar
Presented by the Association of Town Finance Committees
This workshop will cover a range of timely waste and recycling topics, including a briefing from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection on its new 10-year Solid Waste Master Plan, a primer on extended producer responsibility for packaging and other products from the Product Stewardship Institute, and a case study of zero waste initiatives in Cambridge.
PANELISTS
John Fischer is the deputy division director for solid waste at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
Sydney Harris is the policy and programs manager for the Product Stewardship Institute.
Michael Orr is the recycling director in Cambridge.
MODERATOR
Neil Rhein is the founder and executive director of Keep Massachusetts Beautiful and a select board member in Mansfield.

Advancing Diversity in Public Safety
Feb. 17, 12-1 p.m. – View the webinar
Presented by Massachusetts Municipal Human Resources
Many municipalities are currently facing challenges in diversifying the ranks of their police departments. Even in some of the most diverse cities, many police departments remain mostly white and mostly male. This workshop will explore some of the barriers to increasing diversity in public safety and strategies that municipal employers can use to increase diversity.
PANELISTS
Jack McDevitt is director of the Northeastern University Institute on Race and Justice.
James Hicks is the police chief in Natick.
MODERATOR
Dori Vecchio is the town administrator in Blackstone.

The MMA welcomes suggestions from members about the topics you would like to see covered during workshops at future Annual Meetings. Please use this form to share your ideas with us!

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